Friday, December 27, 2013

Merry Merry

Yesterday we woke up and took the tree down, put all the Christmas decor away, and removed the exterior lights. The girls protested, but it was time. We made the most of December and packed in so much holiday cheer (here and here), I wasn't sad at all to pack the holidays away so soon.

Christmas was wonderful. We separated the gifts into towers the night before so the girls could eye their haul right away. They wasted no time and began opening before JD and I could pour our first cup of coffee.


I never know when to stop shopping for Christmas gifts. At what point is it enough? 5 gifts? 10? I remember growing up,  my brothers and I each received 3 gifts from our parents (usually a pair of jeans, shoes, and a game or toy). It always felt like a ton of gifts to us. I figured anything over 3 gifts would be a good Christmas surprise for my kids. I was thoughtful about my gift-giving and really tried to select things that my girls would like for a long time to come. In the end, they each had 10 presents from mom and dad to open and several from their grandparents and aunts and uncles. Some favorites were a tiny sparkly J. Crew purse for Beatrice and a toy wooden coffee pot set for Penelope.

Christmas isn't about gifts though, it's about God taking on flesh to come to earth and walk among us, pay the price for our sin, and become our righteousness. It's about Jesus, the Light of the world. We attended our church's candlelight service on Christmas night. It was beautiful and a perfect end to our Christmas.

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve Ice Skating

It's 79 degrees here. All month long we've had unseasonably cold weather, but 2 days before Christmas, a heat wave rolled in. I love the cold, and since there is no chance of having a white Christmas in Los Angeles, I was really hoping the cold would stick around to make the season feel more like the tender Tennessee Christmases I'm used to. But it's going to be nearly 80 degrees every day this week. Bah humbug.

I wanted to make the most of our warm weather by doing something wintry today, so we went to the mall for some ice skating!

JD had to work so I was a bit nervous about taking both girls on the ice by myself, but we managed just fine. Beatrice got a quick lesson from an instructor that worked the rink, I rented a ride on seal for Penelope, and off we went!

Beatrice wore her ballet leotard when she found out we were going ice skating. She was so excited. We are going to see Disney Princesses on Ice next week and the whole time she skated she pretended she was a princess on ice.

She was so brave and wanted to skate by herself quite a bit. There were a few falls, but she was really good. She loved it so much she wants to take lessons.

I forgot Penelope's gloves and the poor girl was shivering after a few laps. She didn't really want to leave, but she didn't crack a smile. She was too cold for smiling.

We had peppermint milkshakes to celebrate our first ice skating adventure.

It was a perfect Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Revamp

I decorated our house for Christmas before Thanksgiving. As much as I love all of the red and green glitter, I'm ready for a change. Yesterday I scored some awesome Christmas clearance at Target so I did a little revamp to my dining room table.

It's simple and I like it. I'm glad I changed it, even if it is 2 days before Christmas. Christmas Eve dinner will feel more special under the paper snowflake blizzard the girls helped me make.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Pillows

I love Christmas decor. Honestly, I don't think I will ever have enough. The one thing my house doesn't have that I've always wanted is Christmas pillows. I'm cheap though. I've found plenty that I love, but the price has never been right. So the girls and I made some! I used fabric scraps and felt from my stash so this project didn't cost me a thing.

I love sewing felt. It's sturdy and wooly. I appliqued white felt trees on cotton polka dots, then used multicolored felt scraps as Christmas lights strung on ric rac stitched onto green felt. I want to make 30 more!

My couch is so much more festive now!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Things

We have made the most of our December with trips to Candy Cane Lane to see the lights, decorating every square inch of our house, and keeping warm by the fire. I love this month. I love all things twinkling and sparkly and merry. Give me cookies, candy canes, and hot cider! I love Christmas and I'm raising little girls who love it too. We've packed in so much this month, I don't want it to end!

1 - 5. Candy Cane Lane. This was JD's first year to go, it's a California Christmas tradition.
6. Advent calendars from Germany.
7. So many presents, I beg JD to let us open one each night. He's a Scrooge.
8. Homemade burlap wreath on our front door next to our wood pile. Side note: firewood is expensive in California. A fire costs us around $10.
9. I wrap my own presents while JD is at work.
10. We've used the Christmas china everyday since Black Friday.
11. She loves this time of year and knows all the words to dozens of Christmas songs.
12. While the family watches Christmas movies before bed, she plays games on my phone.
13. I skipped last year's Christmas cards. I thought we would skip this year too, but I had a burst of creativity last week and changed my mind.
14 - 15. JD and I manufactured quite possibility the worst light display outside our house in the history of Christmas light displays. I love it!
16. I scored this $10 advent calendar at TJ Maxx yesterday.
17. Last night was really cold so we splurged and built a $10 fire that lasted about 2 hours.
18. I mastered the Christmas light bokeh.